Windows 7 Default Services and Suggested Startup Mode

by [Published on 20 Jan. 2011 / Last Updated on 20 Jan. 2011]

This article lists the default startup mode for Windows 7 services and possible settings that improve performance.

Introduction

Windows 7 comes with a slew of services, which might not be that important to your computer. If you are running Windows 7 on a personal laptop, home computer, or computer where you can control the services yourself, you might want to look at stopping some of the services to improve performance. If you are a corporate network administrator, you should also look closely at the overall list of services, as some of them are not needed for your corporate network desktops.

Like always, never take settings and suggestions like these verbatim, be sure to test them in your specific environment. Although I have been able to run my personal laptop, production desktop, and even corporate desktops where I have contracted.

Name of Service

Default Startup Mode

Possible Startup Mode

ActiveX Installer (AxInstSV)

Manual

Manual

Adaptive Brightness

Manual

Disabled

Application Experience

Manual

Manual

Application Identity

Manual

Manual

Application Information

Manual

Manual

Application Layer Gateway Service

Manual

Disabled

Application Management

Manual

Disabled

Background Intelligent Transfer Service

Manual

Manual

Base Filtering Engine

Automatic

Automatic

Bitlocker Drive Encryption Service

Manual

Disabled

Block Level Backup Engine Service

Manual

Disabled

Bluetooth Support Services

Manual

Disabled

BranchCache

Manual

Disabled

Certificate Propagation

Manual

Disabled

CNG Key Isolation

Manual

Manual

COM+ Event System

Automatic

Automatic

COM+ System Application

Manual

Manual

Computer Browser

Manual

Disabled

Credential Manager

Manual

Manual

Cryptographic Services

Automatic

Automatic

DCOM Server Process Launcher

Automatic

Automatic

Desktop Window Manager Session Manager

Automatic

Automatic

DHCP Client

Automatic

Automatic

Diagnostic Policy Service

Automatic

Automatic

Diagnostic Service host

Automatic

Automatic

Diagnostic System Host

Manual

Manual

Disk Defragmenter

Manual

Disabled

Distributed Link Tracking Client

Automatic

Automatic

Distributed Transaction Coordinator

Manual

Manual

DNS Client

Automatic

Automatic

Encrypting File System (EFS)

Manual

Disabled

Extensible Authentication Protocol

Manual

Manual

Fax

Manual

Disabled

Function Discovery Provider Host

Manual

Manual

Function Discovery Resource Publication

Manual

Disabled

Group Policy Client

Automatic

Automatic

Health Key and Certificate Management

Manual

Disabled

HomeGroup Listener

Manual

Disabled

HomeGroup Provider

Manual

Disabled

Human Interface Device Access

Manual

Manual

IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules

Manual

Manual

Interactive Services Detection

Manual

Manual

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)

Disabled

Disabled

IP Helper

Automatic

Automatic

IPsec Policy Agent

Manual

Manual

KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator

Manual

Manual

Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper

Manual

Disabled

Media Center Extender Service

Disabled

Disabled

Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN v2.0.50727_X86

Manual

Manual

Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service

Manual

Manual

Microsoft Software Shadow Copy

Manual

Manual

Multimedia Class Scheduler

Automatic

Automatic

Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service

Disabled

Disabled

Netlogon

Manual

Manual

Network Access Protection Agent

Manual

Manual

Network Connections

Manual

Manual

Network List Service

Manual

Manual

Network Location Awareness

Automatic

Automatic

Network Store Interface Service

Automatic

Automatic

Offline Files

Automatic

Disabled

Parental Controls

Manual

Disabled

Peer Name Resolution Protocol

Manual

Manual

Peer Networking Grouping

Manual

Manual

Peer Networking Identity Manager

Manual

Manual

Performance Counter DLL Host

Manual

Disabled

Performance Logs & Alerts

Manual

Disabled

Plug and Play

Automatic

Automatic

PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator

Manual

Manual

PNRP Machine Name Publication Service

Manual

Manual

Portable Device Enumerator Service

Manual

Manual

Power

Automatic

Automatic

Print Spooler

Automatic

Automatic

Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel Support

Manual

Disabled

Program Compatibility Assistant Service

Manual

Disabled

Protected Storage

Manual

Disabled

Quality Windows Audio Video Experience

Manual

Disabled

Remote Access Auto Connection Manager

Manual

Disabled

Remote Access Connection Manager

Manual

Disabled

Remote Procedure Call (RPC)

Automatic

Automatic

Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator

Manual

Manual

Remote Registry

Manual

Manual

Routing and Remote Access

Disabled

Disabled

RPC Endpoint Mapper

Automatic

Automatic

Secondary Logon

Manual

Manual

Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol Service

Manual

Disabled for desktops, enabled for laptops

Security Accounts Manager

Automatic

Automatic

Security Center

Automatic (Delayed Start)

Automatic

Server

Automatic

Automatic

Shell Hardware Detection

Automatic

Automatic

Smart Card

Manual

Disabled

Smart Card Removal Policy

Manual

Manual

SNMP Trap

Manual

Disabled

Software Protection

Automatic

Automatic

SPP Notification Service

Manual

Manual

SSDP Discovery

Manual

Manual

Superfetch

Automatic

Automatic

System Event Notification Service

Automatic

Automatic

Tablet PC Input Service

Automatic

Disabled

Task Scheduler

Automatic

Automatic

TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper

Automatic

Automatic

Telephony

Manual

Disabled

Themes

Automatic

Automatic

Thread Ordering Server

Manual

Manual

TP AutoConnect Service

Manual

Manual

TPM Base Services

Manual

Manual

UPnP Device Host

Manual

Manual

User Profile Service

Automatic

Automatic

Virtual Disk

Manual

Manual

Volume Shadow Copy

Manual

Manual

WebClient

Manual

Disabled

Windows Audio

Automatic

Automatic

Windows Audio Endpoint Builder

Automatic

Automatic

Windows Backup

Manual

Manual

Windows CardSpace

Manual

Disabled

Windows Color System

Manual

Disabled

Windows Connect Now - Config Registrar

Manual

Disabled

Windows Defender

Automatic

Automatic

Windows Driver Foundation - User-mode Driver Framework

Automatic

Automatic

Windows Error Reporting Service

Manual

Disabled

Windows Event Collector

Manual

Disabled

Windows Event Log

Automatic

Automatic

Windows Firewall

Automatic

Automatic

Windows Font Cache Service

Manual

Manual

Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)

Manual

Disabled

Windows Installer

Manual

Manual

Windows Management Instrumentation

Automatic

Automatic

Windows Media Center Receiver Service

Manual

Disabled

Windows Media Center Scheduler Service

Manual

Disabled

Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service

Manual

Disabled

Windows Modules Installer

Manual

Manual

Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache 3.0.0.0

Manual

Manual

Windows Remote Management (WS-Management)

Manual

Manual

Windows Search

Automatic

Automatic

Windows Time

Automatic

Automatic

Windows Update

Automatic (Delayed Start)

Automatic (Delay Start)

WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service

Manual

Manual

Wired AutoConfig

Manual

Disabled

WLAN AutoConfig

Manual

Disabled for LAN, Enabled for Wireless

WMI Performance Adapter

Manual

Manual

Workstation

Automatic

Automatic

How to Proceed

For your laptops and desktops for both your personal and corporate environments, be sure to setup a test computer or pilot group and make sure that all other functions on the computer work before you proceed with rolling this out to all computers on your network. In my experience, disabling the services above has given me significant performance enhancements by removing the services from running. In most cases the services were not running (set to manual and not started), but in many cases the services were running and were just taking up memory and processing time.

The other benefit to disabling services that are not needed is that it reduces your attack surface. The fewer services running means the fewer ports open, which means the fewer viruses and worms, will function on your computer.

If a feature or function fails to work after disabling services, just re-enable the service to manual or automatic. If you are uncertain which service is required, you can look at the service descriptions on your computer services list or check online for a description of your feature and which service is required.

Summary

Microsoft has created services for many functions that are available for Windows 7. Just because the service is there does not mean you want it, need, it, or should have it even installed on your computer. However, the reality is that Microsoft is in the business of making things run out of the box, thus the service is there. Your job is to make your computer perform better and more secure, which is why you can, and should, disable services you don’t need. Good luck and please send me feedback on when you find a feature you run requires a service I suggested to disable.

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